Sunday, November 06, 2011

NatGeo airs report "CIA Confidential: Pakistan Undercover: and its own "Hurt Locker"

On Sunday night, Nov. 6, National Geographic aired two programs about “Obama’s war” (and the previous “Bush’s War”, it turns out).  The first was “Bomb Hunters: Afghanistan”, airing at 7 PM EST, and was a real-life “Hurt Locker” or “Restrepo”. The lives of soldiers on ordnance duty in Afghanistan is shown carefully.

The second hour was more daring. It was “CIA Confidential: Pakistan Undercover”.  The documentary detailed a CIA investigation to stop a new threat to bring in components of liquid explosives into western countries.  The CIA planned 14 raids on different Pakistani homes or strongholds, many of them identified from the eccentricities of the Pakistani phone system.

Much of the operation took place in areas of Pakistan not under direct government control.

The operation was very much like a military one, using agents making drops with steganographic techniques, using instruments as simple as chalk pieces.   It’s hard to see whether civilians could participate in what appear to be ordinary military raids from the way the documentary depicts them.   (I’ve wondered how CIA drones can be released outside of normal military command structure.) It’s unlikely that normally a significant part of overseas CIA work involves operations of this nature.

Eventually the program details the capture and interrogation of Abu Zubaydah  (with his life saved by emergency surgery), link 

This seems to be a 2009 show with this sales link

Picture: Fort Snelling, MN (personal visit, 2002).

See "disaster movies" blog ("threats to freedom") today, Nov. 6,  for Natgeo's "The Last Days of Osama bin Laden" with Peter Bergen . 

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